Coastal Otago, and its one major city, Dunedin, has, in typical New Zealand manner, attractions both urban and rural, offering you the chance to see New Zealand’s indie music heartland, while having the island’s most accessible wildlife at your fingertips. With three days at your disposal, it’s best to make the most of it.
Day 1: Welcome to Dunedin
Upon your arrival, you’ll find Dunedin a compact, quirky little town, full of charming bars, restaurants, and cafes, all with a distinctly New Zealand feel. The smattering of bars gives this town a reputation for good nightlife, and it’s well earned. Spend your first day waltzing the streets, seeing some of the beautiful Victorian and Edwardian architecture. From its pioneering history you’re liable to hear a good mix of the indie-rock scene floating through the air. Enjoy it, and sleep well. Tomorrow, you head off into wild.
Day 2: Exploring the Otago Peninsula
Dunedin acts as the gateway for the Otago Peninsula and all the wildlife it engenders. These are the outdoors that make New Zealand famous. Start your day with a bike ride down to the coast, where kayak rentals are available. See a coastline spotted with the rarest penguins in the world, albatross snuggling into their nests, and bull seals jealously guarding their harem. A bike trip through the city down to the peninsula is a must-do experience to truly appreciate the scenery.
Day 3: Further into Otago
The Otago Peninsula offers an incredibly diverse array of outdoor activities in which to partake. From photogenic trail hikes, to hunting and watersports, to horseback riding, whatever your pleasure, you can find here. Get information at the local tourist office and see about exploring on your own or with a local tour guide. A favorite for the outdoor adventurers is to take the Taieri Gorge Railway to Central Otago. Here, the Central Otago Rail Trail begins and is a four day cycling journey either ending in Queenstown or looping back to Dunedin. The great thing about New Zealand exploration is, any way you slice it, it’s bound to be an adventure.